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Old 02-01-2011, 04:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,226 times
Reputation: 10
Default French student moving to KS

Hey everyone!

I post a topic here because I was just accepted in a study program in my university to study in the US, and I was accepted in Kansas City, UMKC.
My first choice was Portland, but I couldn't go there, and since my dossier was still quite good I am now proposed to live in Kansas City, which I don't know a lot of. I know it's not a Portland-like city at all, but it still looks pretty nice, but I really don't know what kind of city it is for someone who will turn 24 when getting there, who's into indie rock and electronic music and who doesn't have a driving licence. What would be the best place to live in terms of safety, things to do, bars, concerts, etc?
Thank you a lot in advance for your answers !
(and maybe see next year then)

thomas
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:18 AM
Status: "Rachel Ray make me a baloney sandwich please" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: The Plains
5,827 posts, read 4,656,319 times
Reputation: 4015
I would live near UMKC, the Plaza, Volker, Brookside, near the Nelson Art gallery. In the Midwest states I would prefer a car . The best entertainment is spread out all over the city. I am sure you will be fine getting around with kindness of friends. It is a friendly city. From my travels around the US I have found the dirtier a place is, the more dangerous it is.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,228 posts, read 8,436,011 times
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I love Portland and the Pacific NW in general. I would live there in a heartbeat, although I would choose Seattle to be between Portland and Vancouver. The only problem is it's so far from the rest of the country.

Having said that, don't overlook KC. The city compares well to Portland. IMO, there is more to do in KC than Portland.

But Portland has a very dense, populated downtown core and is the true center of the metro area both socially and economically. The central city and metro have excellent transit options.

KC has all of what Portland offers, but in a more spread out urban core and metro area with limited transit (although KC does have a solid central city bus system). KC is just far more dispersed.

I think the bigger difference will be the people. I don't buy the friendly people crap. I think people are the same everywhere, they just put on different shows in public, but when you drill down, the people are the same. Friendly everywhere.

The bigger difference is KC can feel very "in-active" or dead at times. In places like Portland, Seattle, Denver etc, people are ALWAYS out and active. Lots of pedestrians, bicyclists and general urban activity. While in KC that activity can be frustratingly rare or isolated to small pockets of the city at certain times. The other difference is the general attitude of metro KC residents being very anti city or just pessimistic about KC in general. There are plenty of KC boosters, but compared to most bigger cities, KC has a very noticeable inferiority complex.

Having said that, you CAN live a very active, urban lifestyle in KC and you can do so without the cost and hassles of other large cities. You have to go against the grain a bit and find that urban niche or circle of friends, but it's there and once you figure out and accept the fact that KCMO is ok, (ie, you don't have to live and play in the burbs), it quickly becomes one of the best cities to live in.

Stick to UMKC, Plaza, Westport, Union Hill, Crossroads, Downtown, River Market etc. Basically anyplace between state line and Paseo, the MO river and 75th. The eastern boundary is less definitive as gentrification to the east varies along KCMO's central urban corridor.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Old Hyde Park, Kansas City,MO
1,145 posts, read 1,033,830 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I love Portland and the Pacific NW in general. I would live there in a heartbeat, although I would choose Seattle to be between Portland and Vancouver. The only problem is it's so far from the rest of the country.

Having said that, don't overlook KC. The city compares well to Portland. IMO, there is more to do in KC than Portland.

But Portland has a very dense, populated downtown core and is the true center of the metro area both socially and economically. The central city and metro have excellent transit options.

KC has all of what Portland offers, but in a more spread out urban core and metro area with limited transit (although KC does have a solid central city bus system). KC is just far more dispersed.

I think the bigger difference will be the people. I don't buy the friendly people crap. I think people are the same everywhere, they just put on different shows in public, but when you drill down, the people are the same. Friendly everywhere.

The bigger difference is KC can feel very "in-active" or dead at times. In places like Portland, Seattle, Denver etc, people are ALWAYS out and active. Lots of pedestrians, bicyclists and general urban activity. While in KC that activity can be frustratingly rare or isolated to small pockets of the city at certain times. The other difference is the general attitude of metro KC residents being very anti city or just pessimistic about KC in general. There are plenty of KC boosters, but compared to most bigger cities, KC has a very noticeable inferiority complex.

Having said that, you CAN live a very active, urban lifestyle in KC and you can do so without the cost and hassles of other large cities. You have to go against the grain a bit and find that urban niche or circle of friends, but it's there and once you figure out and accept the fact that KCMO is ok, (ie, you don't have to live and play in the burbs), it quickly becomes one of the best cities to live in.

Stick to UMKC, Plaza, Westport, Union Hill, Crossroads, Downtown, River Market etc. Basically anyplace between state line and Paseo, the MO river and 75th. The eastern boundary is less definitive as gentrification to the east varies along KCMO's central urban corridor.
Couldn't you actually extend the urban core to Mission Rd, there are similarities on the KS side as well, you can't just end it at State Line. Not sure if you can live on the KS side and go to UMKC to get reduced/in state tuition.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,228 posts, read 8,436,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewcrew1000 View Post
Couldn't you actually extend the urban core to Mission Rd, there are similarities on the KS side as well, you can't just end it at State Line. Not sure if you can live on the KS side and go to UMKC to get reduced/in state tuition.
True, I was just being specific to KCMO.

You don't have to live in MO to get in-state tuition either.

http://www.umkc.edu/metrorate/
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 17,842,434 times
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Anything in Volker (near KU Med), West Plaza, Westport, or the Plaza would give you a very easy bus ride to school. There are some great walkable neighborhoods in this city with great bars and restaurants, reliable bus service, and plenty of cool people. Living a car-less lifestyle won't be too tough.

I highly suggest Westport Manor Apartments in Westport (you can look up their facebook profile). They have 1 bedroom apartments for $599/month. They're very nice, the community is active, it's a super easy walk to the grocery store, and right along several major bus lines, one of which goes directly to UMKC's campus. Westport itself has great bars, restaurants and shops as well as an indie movie theater.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,249,354 times
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I think the other posters have made wonderful suggestions as to where to live. And there is entertainment and a youth scene around there (others can speak to that). But, I think you should at least know about Lawrence, KS. You may have difficulty getting to Lawrence, KS without a car, but maybe a friend could take you.

Much of this region of the country is very conservative, but Lawrence is more like Portland in that the people are more liberal and ecologically minded. There is a vibrant, indie rock scene with bands playing at the Bottleneck and other local bar/clubs. One can hang out on Massachusetts St (Mass St), or drop in on a house party with college students in the houses between Mass St and the campus of the University of Kansas. I think young Western Europeans would be comfortable in Lawrence, KS. A number of young people from Lawrence end up moving to either Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:27 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,226 times
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Thanks a lot everyone for all this information! Didn't expect that much!
@KCMO : Thanks for the indications of places, it seems that the university is located downtown, isn't it? That's a really good point! The more I look for things about KC, the more I feel great about it. Plus, I checked some housing websites and found out rents are actually way cheaper than in my current city (Lyon, France). By the way, can someone recommend a good website to look for apartments? I know craigslist: kansas city, MO classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events but, if I can look on several sites that'd be neat!
Sorry for english mistakes and thanks again to everyone who took the time to give a response, it is quite encouraging!
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:04 PM
 
15 posts, read 24,294 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jed_the_humanoid View Post
Thanks a lot everyone for all this information! Didn't expect that much!
@KCMO : Thanks for the indications of places, it seems that the university is located downtown, isn't it? That's a really good point! The more I look for things about KC, the more I feel great about it. Plus, I checked some housing websites and found out rents are actually way cheaper than in my current city (Lyon, France). By the way, can someone recommend a good website to look for apartments? I know craigslist: kansas city, MO classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events but, if I can look on several sites that'd be neat!
Sorry for english mistakes and thanks again to everyone who took the time to give a response, it is quite encouraging!

I am listed with UMKC's intensive English program as a host home. Currently I have 3 students, all young men, living in my private garage apartment. They are all into Indie rock. Of course I don't know that they'll continue to be here after the school year. My own son is into Indie Rock and will be 18 next fall. My neighbor keeps intensive English students as well- she currently has a Korean student at her house.

I know that UMKC's intensive English program keeps a list of recommended housing.

The college isn't "downtown" but is in "midtown", a few miles from downtown. You can get a bus to downtown rather easily. This community IS very walkable- particularly if you have a sturdy pair of snowboots and a good coat, for winter. My guys walk to Westport and the Plaza, down to Crown Center and Crossroads District.
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